Category Archives: Loving God

Loving Ourselves-Day 6-Let It Go!

Loving Ourselves by Letting Go

Scripture:  Matthew 22: 34-40

But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’“This is the great and foremost commandment.“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Loving Ourselves Because We Are Temples!

Yesterday, we were working through some practical applications of how we can love ourselves by taking care of our bodies, being mindful that they are temples of God’s Holy Spirit and for that reason (among others) we owe it to God to maintain a temple worthy of His work.

Physical Manifestations of Inner Conflicts

Yesteraday, I asked you to think about how your body feels when you are verging on being depleted.  How would that manifest itself physically in your particular body?

For me, tension is one sign.  Maybe you’ve felt it.  It’s kind of a clenching, tight tension that resides in my muscles and results in stiffness and pain.  Your senses are heightened and on-guard.  Anxiety often accompanies this feeling for me.  If I am really worried about something, I might wake up in the morning with the feeling that I have a toothache.  It is never actually a toothache—it’s the result of me grinding my jaw at night-which I know means that I have not let go of the tension even as I sleep.

Loving Ourselves By Getting the Occasional Massage

When I’ve had time and resources, I have found massages to be such a blessing in the relief of stress and tension. My tension is usually so deep that I benefit most during a deep tissue massage.  One thing you learn when you are getting a massage is the importance of breathing deeply and “letting go” of the tension.  If I have trouble with this, often the practitioner will tell you to “let it go.”  Once she finds the “spot” and the muscle loosens with one of those painfully wonderful popping spasms, it’s such a relief.  And I know that my own thoughts put the painful knot there in the first place.

Loving Ourselves by Moving, Stretching, Climbing and Walking.

Short of a massage, frequent walks and stretching tend to help me release tension and are simple and easy to do.  If you have stairs in your home or office, put on some headphones and walk up and down the stair for 10 minutes.  A quick burst of exercise can help you calm down.

Loving Ourselves By Stopping the Fight!

Stop fighting the release of your tension. What is there that you need to release your chokehold on?  Are you wrestling with someone or something that simply needs to be released to God’s care and control?  We will be doing ourselves such an immense favor if we just put forth a prayer that God will take over the issue or individual we’ve been striving over and repeat to yourself, “God’s got it, God’s got it. God’s got it.”  That does not mean that we abandon the person or cause, but perhaps take a step (or many steps) back.

Loving ourselves means directing our limited energy and resources to living out God’s will in our lives and not trying to BE God to a person or situation.

All the Best in 2013,

Julie

Loving God Day 8

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your might.” Deut. 6.5

We’ve come to the last day of concentration on LOVING God as we cultivate the “love” fruit of the Spirit.

We can now see that when we love Him with all of our SOUL we make a conscious decision to devote our whole soul to loving Him and as we do that, we weed out impediments to our spiritual growth.

When we love Him with all of our MIGHT we make a conscious decision to get spiritually stronger each day in order to become MIGHTY for God.  We get stronger by plugging in with Him daily, being an active member of a church, praying and studying God’s word.

Loving God means that we recognize what He’s done for us by expressing gratitude to Him for what He’s done for us. Thanking Him for blessings each day is an easy way to do this.  When I feel grouchy about doing a particular task…say folding laundry…I make a spiritual exercise out of it by thanking God for the ability to have a washing machine that works, hands that are able to fold, running water, electricity, clothing and for the people in my family who wear the clothing.  If I have to come up with a solution to a professional challenge, I thank God for a brain that can think through problems. Loving God does not have to be a mystical or heavy exercise.  It can be incorporated into the everyday.

Times of reverent devotion have their place, but God wants to walk with us through the mundane as well-and when we invite Him into those moments, we are showing that we love Him.

Think to yourself now of the person you love to be with the most.  Why do you love being with them?  Is it because they understand you and know what you are thinking before you say a word?  Have they seen you at your worst and love you anyway?  Do they make you examine yourself when necessary…or even LAUGH at yourself? Can you think of God in those terms?

God wants us to see his righteousness, perfection, justice and power.  But He also wants to walk beside us. This is how enormous He is.  He covers every part of our life if we invite Him into it. That is loving God.

All the Best in 2013,

Julie

Loving God by Going to Him for Comfort-Loving God Day 7

First Fruit

Love

Loving God By Going to Him FIRST When You Need Comfort

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your might.” Deut. 6.5

 In this devotion, we thought about Job and his attitude after he was stricken by God emotionally, spiritually, financially & physically.  Job refused to curse God.  However, he did wish for his own death and justifiably express his distress at his condition.  He did this sitting with a group of his closest “friends.” One of his friends, Eliphas, tells him that “they that plow iniquity and sow wickedness, reap the same.”  Job 4:8.  This is unmitigated bunk and was just about the least comforting thing that Eliphas could have said.  He tells Job that his troubles were basically of his own making because he cultivated iniquity and wickedness. How often have we heard this in the face of natural and other disasters?  Somehow things like hurricanes, mass-murders, terrorist attacks & earthquakes are the result of sin or unbelief.  Likewise, there are those who believe that chronic or severe illness, poverty, death, divorce or other undesired life situations are the result of sin in the sufferers’ life.

In Job’s case nothing could be further from the truth.

Yet, when Job turned to his friends, they assaulted him with condemnation and guilt.

We know the end of the story with Job and how God restores him. But what unnecessary additional discomfort he suffered at the hands of his “friends.”

What do we get when we go to God first with our loss, negativity and distress?

Take a look at Psalm 18 when David turns to God in his distress!

I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky…hey confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support…
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Loving God means going to God first.  He is the one with the comfort, consolation & solutions.

Go to him for comfort today and every day!

All the Best in 2013,

Julie